The Challenge of Going Back to College


If you think it’s hard enough going to college at your young age, think twice.

As a mom of two kids and wife of a wonderful husband, let me share my story…

Twenty-four years ago, we came to the USA with a 3-week old baby and a 2 year-old little girl, with the idea to stay only 3 years while my husband finished his training.

In my country, I had a wonderful career, which I had decided to put on hold for 3 years. After the first three years, another three years of training came, and then, after those 3 years, my husband received a good job offer. We decided that I would stay at home and raise the kids.

Time passed by and the kids began going to the school. Sadly, I considered myself being retired from my previous career and decided to take a new path or at least take the classes that have always interested me. I began a new professional adventure. But, everything was different now…and I had to confront many hurdles.

First, money. We already had to take out sizeable tuition loans for our children, so I could not even ask for my own loan. Otherwise, I would have to essentially sell my soul to the bank.

Second, my memory – Have you had those memory lapses where you don’t know what you were going to do or where you left your phone? OK, well, let me tell you that, at this point in my life, they are not momentary lapses anymore. They are always happening to me. Most of the time, I need to ask someone to call me to find my phone, to take a photo to remember where I parked my car or to use my phone just to add reminders. God bless you, iPhone!

And third, my accent – Sometimes when I am tired, it is very hard to speak English for me (it is my second language) and added to my heavy accent, it is the perfect storm of miscommunication. Sometimes when I am exhausted and talking with someone in English, I begin to see their eyes widen, as if to shout “what the heck is she trying to say?!” At this point, my mind begins to blocking out all coherent thoughts and no word comes out of my mouth. Then, I need to calm myself down, listen to what I am saying, and retake control of the situation.

As you can see, it is not easy to return to college, be a foreign student and a mom at the same time. But for me it does not matter, because every time that I come to school, I am so excited because I am going to learn new tools that are going to help me outside in the real world.

By NVC Student Martha Aceves